In what has been a torrid season for the Los Angeles Lakers so far, Austin Reaves has been a rare bright spot.
However, given the Lakers’ precarious roster construction, there’s always a risk that a player like Reaves could be traded to improve a position of need. According to a Western Conference Executive who spoke to Heavy On Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney On condition of anonymity, it’s unlikely the Lakers would part ways with the second shooting guard.
In his 36 games this season, Reaves averaged 10.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 48.8% from the field and 36% from perimeter while making a respectable shot on the other side of the court defense bot.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, speaking on a Jan. 20 episode of his podcast The Hoop Collective, the Lakers’ current struggles stem from their lack of real talent behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which is why the front office likely won’t to pledge their future by trading away their first-round picks for 2027 and 2029.
“That happens to bad teams. They’re five games under, six games under, whatever they’re under .500 because you can’t get your business done at the end of the games. Because Russ gets in traffic, and that’s why LeBron yells about the calls… If you yell about leadership, it’s because you need it all… I don’t blame Rob Pelinka… I don’t blame Jeanie Buss either, if They’re not trying to look to the future to try to get this team into the play-in tournament,” Windhorst said.
While speaking on a Jan. 19 episode of ESPN’s NBA Today, Kendrick Perkins noted how he believes the Lakers’ reluctance to improve their current roster could potentially be their way of thanking LeBron James for his part in acquiring Punish Russell Westbrook.
“In my opinion, it almost feels like Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss are punishing LeBron for trading Russell Westbrook, which means, ‘You played a huge part in bringing Russell Westbrook here and we know that we have these two draft picks and we won’t trade them because you wanted him. You wanted him, Bron. So now you have to deal with it. You made your bed, you must lie in it’” said Perkins.